tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 19, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
compromise agreement when somebody resigns or leaves the business in circumstances like this, you know, there are some -- there are commercial confidentiality agreements, but nothing that would stop or inhibit the executive from cooperating fully with investigations, from being transparent about any wrongdoing or anything like that. it's important to note that in these agreements they are made on the basis of no evidence of impropriety. and if evidence of impropriety emerges or was there prior to that departure, then you would have a different piece. but there's kwoit a -- that's an important point i think just to be clear about. >> my final question is, it seems to me on the face of it that the "news of the world" was sacrificed in order to try and protect rebekah brooks' position at news international. but in effect rather than her
being -- her departure being announced, "news of the world" was offered up as an alternative to try to deal with the whole thing. do you regret now making that decision? do you regret closing the "news of the world" to try and save rebekah brooks? in hindsight do you wish you'd accepted her resignation to start with, in order that that paper with a fine tradition could probably continue and all of the people who are now out of work could still be in work? >> i regret very much the fate of people who will not be able to find work. the two decisions were totally unrelated. absolutely and totally unrelated. >> so when you came into the u.k. and said your priority was rebekah brooks -- >> i'm not sure i did say that. i was quoted as saying that. i walked outside my flat and had about 20 microphones stuck in my mouth so i'm not sure what i said. >> so you were misquoted? >> i'm not saying that.
i just don't remember. >> i'm sorry, mr. chairman. mr. davies, it's important that the closure of a newspaper with a history of 160 some odd years history is something that is a grave thing and something that is a serious matter of regret for us, for the company. but much more serious than that is the seriousness of really the violation of privacy, the hurt that certain individuals the "news the world" caused to victims of illegal voice interceptions and their families. and really -- and i can tell you, i advocated at the time that was was a step that we should take. this was a paper and a title that had fundamentally violated the trust of its readers. and it's something that was a matter of great regret, real gravity, but under the circumstances and with respect
to the bad things that certain of the things that happened at "news of the world" some years ago did, it was really the right choice for the paper to cease publication. now, it is important to note, and i want to be clear with the committee on this, that the company is doing everything it can to make sure that journalists and staff at the "news of the world" had nothing to do with any of these issues, who are completely blameless in any things and many are really, you know, done tremendous work journalistically, professionally, commercially for the business, that we find reemployment for them wherever we can. i think the company is being as generous as we can under the circumstances. the company is being as thoughtful and compassionate for them and their families to get through this. but it is -- it is a very regrettable situation and one
that we did not take lightly in any way. >> you have made that clear. i'm going to ask for members, i don't want to cut anybody off, but please we do still have some way to go. paul. >> thank you, john. i just want to return to how john opened the session and the evidence that was given previously. but in connection with mr. davies' questioning, there was one key question he omitted to ask. mr. murdoch, james, through all the civil actions, have you been paying glenn mulkhair's legal fees? not you personally, but your organization. >> as i said earlier to the question from mr. davies, there are -- >> no, no. let's keep it short. yes or no? it's a yes or no question. >> i don't know the current status of those. you asked the question are we paying all of his legal fees. >> have you been paying legal fees during the course of the civil actions? >> i don't know the details of the civil actions but i do know
that certain legal fees were paid for mr. mulkhair by the company and i was as surprised and shocked to learn that as you are. >> can you understand that people might ask why a company might wish to pay the legal fees of a convicted felon who's been involved -- intimately involved in the destruction of your reputation if it were not to buy his cooperation of silence? >> i can understand that and that's exactly why i asked the question. that's exactly what -- when the allegations came out, i said are we really doing this? is this what the company is doing? on legal advice, you know, and again i don't want to be legalistic and i'm not a lawyer, but these are serious litigations. it's important from all of the evidence from all of the defendants to get to court at the right time. and the strong advice was that from time to time it's important and customary even to pay
co-defendants' legal fees. and i have to rest on counsel's advice on some of these serious litigation matters. >> is the organization still contributing to his legal fees? >> as i said earlier, i don't know the precise status of that now. but i do know that i asked for those things, for the company to find a way for those things to cease. >> will you let us know? >> i'm happy to follow up with the committee on the status of those legal fees. >> this is a serious question, mr. murdoch sr. is it not time for the organization to say enough is enough. this man allegedly hacked the phone of the murdered school girl. is it not time for your organization to say do your worst, you behaved disgracefully, we're not going to pay any more of your costs? >> i would like to do that. i don't know the status of what
we're doing or indeed what his contract was, whether it still has any force. >> if he -- if the organization is still paying his fees, will you give the instruction now that that should stop? >> provided it's not in breach of a contract, a legal contract, yes. >> i just want to return now to the question of making statements without being in full possession of the facts. during our 2009 inquiry, all the witnesses who came to us testified to being intimately involved, in particular a huge amount of e-mails. it seems over the past few days they have been rather quick to distance themselves from that investigation according to some of the quotes in the newspapers. could i -- it was stated to us clearly that that investigation
uncovered no new evidence, it was still a lone rogue reporter. so mr. murdoch, james, can you tell us about the file of e-mails and so-called internal reports that was discovered allegedly? we read through the pages of the "sunday times." can you tell us about when that was discovered, when you first came to know about it and what's in it? >> i first came to know about that earlier this year in 2011. >> can you be more precise about the time? you've got a great grasp of knowledge. >> it would have been in the -- it would have been around -- it would have been in the spring time. i don't remember the exact date when i was told about it. >> so before april? it would have been april or may. and i can try to find the meeting schedules and what not and come back but it was a number of months -- it was a few months ago. and i can't speak, i should say -- i can speak a little bit to it, but as to the activity
that was carried out in 2007, again, i piece this back together from the past. it was before any of my involvement. but the company at the time, i think you're referring to, there was a dismissal -- an unfair dismissal case that was brought by mr. goodman and that was the basis for conducting -- it was right about the time of the conviction, so it was all in that period of time. >> that is what we inferred in our report last year but despite the assurances of other motivations. >> it was right at the time mr. miler had come in. codes of standards had been talked about. this was before my time, all of the 2007 business was there. and an investigation was done or a fact-finding piece around this and there was a -- outside council was brought in by the company at the time and i
understand that the legal executives, i think it was mr. chapman at the time, along with mr. miler who testified to this effect, took a report and from them the opinion was clear that as to their review, there was no additional illegality with respect to phone hacking in that file. as to their review, that was the opinion that was clear. and the company really rested on a number of things from then on and i certainly know that in 2009 when additional allegations came in the summer, the company really rested on a handful of things. >> i just wanted to move right up to date. to what was discovered in the offices and when it was discovered. >> so in 2010 after the civil litigations had put a spotlight or unearthed, if you will, to us, to the company, additional
new evidence, new information that hadn't been there before and the police investigation started off, one of the things that was went back and looked at, i suppose in the spring by senior people at international was that file. it was relooked at. it was opened up and looked at and it was very rapidly brought to our attention that this was something -- >> when did this happen? when was this looked at? >> again, this is between may -- april, may, june, in that period. >> and who looked at it first? >> on the -- on the side of -- the people managing the work on behalf of news international from early this year have been led by mr. lewis. that's correct. >> and what's in that file? it's been reported as a collection of 300 e-mails or a loose-leaf binder. what is it? >> as you know, there is an ongoing criminal investigation and i think it would be wrong of
me to talk about specific information or evidence that is subject to and could make problems for the police in doing the important work that they're currently doing. >> i don't think it's going to cause problems with the police whether you tell us whether it's a full group of e-mails in a ring binder, a loose-leaf, what is this? >> it's paper. i mean i think there are some e-mails, there are some documents. it's -- >> and have you read it all? >> i have not read it all. but some e-mails -- some things in it have been shown to me. >> and what was your reaction? was there an expletive that you used when you first read some of these e-mails? >> i tried not to use expletives. >> occasionally when you do. >> my reaction immediately was to agree with the recommendation of the executives involved that this was something that we should bring to the attention of the police with respect to their ongoing investigations and perhaps new ones.
>> and when was it given to the police? it's been reported as june the 20th. >> i believe it was in june after we informed the board of the company as well. >> so that date is accurate? >> i believe it was june, yes. >> "the sunday times," a great newspaper, portrayed -- painted a picture on the 10th of july from this file that six so-called gate keepers on the news desk dealt with glenn and they named them as alex, clive goodman, james and edmundson. do you recognize that summary. >> respectfully i would ask you to please understand that detailed questions about any of the evidence, information that we passed to the police in relation to their ongoing criminal inquiries are difficult for me to answer.
and i would appreciate it if we could allow the police to undergo the important work that they are undergoing. there is a process that's important. we are cooperating with it, we are providing information on a regular basis, the company is providing information on a regular basis as needed by the police. i really believe that we have to allow the police to conduct their investigation and hold the people who did wrong to account in this area. >> okay. i'll respect that. >> i think if we were to comment on anything now, it could result in guilty people -- >> i fully understand and i will respect that and clearly the descriptions in the press so they're on the record actually do and including "the sunday times" do mention the e-mails indicate andy colson in knowledge of payments but i wouldn't expect you to comment on that. i will now turn to the letter
that was provided to us by rebekah brooks as evidence during our inquiry that these e-mails proud nothing more. that letter from lawrence abrahamson, senior partner, mentioned that e-mails have been reviewed of andy colson, stewart, ian edmundson and others and nothing had come to light from that review that contradicted the lone reporter, rogue reporter working with glenn mulkhair. knowing what you know now from the other evidence you discovered, have you looked back in detail at the basis on which the firm wrote that letter and
why they gave such a clean bill of health? >> all i can say is that having directed -- having looked at some of the things in that and the advice of the senior people inside the company more recently that went and looked at that, it was the view of the company self evidently that it was right to bring this to the attention of the police and go forward. and that opinion from the counsel was something that the company, you know, rested on. it was a clear opinion about a review that was done around those records and in addition, in conjunction with the police continuing to say that there was no new evidence and there was no reason to open a new investigation and in conjunction with the pcc saying that they had done their review and done their inquiry and there was nothing new there, it was viewed that that was a settled matter.
it was only really when new evidence emerged that those three things began to be undermined. >> in a follow-up can you provide us with the instructions that were given to the law firm, the information -- the extent of the information that was given to them out of the totality of the information that was available? that sort of detail would help us conclude what -- >> i think if there's additional detail required around some of those legal instructions, we will consult and come pack to the chairman with a way to satisfy you with the information that you'd like to have. >> clearly, we spotted last -- in our report that this review coincided not so much with mr. miler's arrival but with the timing of the tribunal actions that clive goodman and glenn mulkhair were planning and that bedding the question why these six individuals were named in there. do you know the reason why it was limited to these six individuals? >> why it was limited to those
six individuals i don't know. i wasn't there at the time and i can't tell you the circumstances, the conversations that people had or the terms of reference of that, but it was viewed that that was something that would be -- it had been viewed after the fact, that that was -- had been a thorough look at information and based on that review that opinion was issued. >> neville is one that immediately jumps out. >> again, in hindsight you can say, we can all say if somebody had looked at this or if somebody had known something that wasn't known yet at the time, but i can't comment on why the terms and why the scope was what it was. >> the proceedings by goodman and mulkhair for unfair dismissal, notwithstanding their criminal convictions, clearly never saw the light of day because they were settled beforehand, so, therefore, we don't know what they were
planning to serve on you. do you know what sorts of allegations that they were making? we can only imagine that they were saying such and such a person knew, such and such a person knew. have you satisfied yourself about what allegations they were making? >> i think many of these individuals you mentioned are currently subject to criminal investigation. some have been arrested recently. an these are important matters for the police now. i do think it's important that i don't stray into or am not led into commenting specifically about individuals or allegations made in the past. >> the question is whether you satisfied yourself as to what clive goodman and glenn mulkhair were alleging in discussions and negotiations that led up to the settlement, if they brought industrial tribunal proceedings against you. that was the question. have you satisfied yourself about what they were alleging? >> as to glenn, i'm not aware of allegations at the time and other things.
as to goodman, again, this was in 2007 before i was there, it's my understanding that that is what the law firm were helping to deal with and that that opinion did satisfy the company at the time and the company rested on that opinion for a period of time. >> i take it you would like to take the opportunity to withdraw this letter as an accurate portrayal of what really went on at "news of the world." >> is that the letter -- >> this is the lewis letter. >> i think it's sdw something that actually -- i'm glad you asked about it because it is a key bit of outside legal advice from senior counsel that was provided to the company and the company rested on. i think it goes some distance in explaining actually why it has taken a long time for new information. and it was one of the bases for the pushback that the company made against new allegations. it was one of the sort of pillars of the environment
around the place that led the company to believe that all of these things were a matter of the past and that new allegations -- >> the question, again, was different, mr. murdoch. i asked you whether this letter which is still lying on the record as evidence given to this committee is not for whatever reason, would you like to withdraw it? >> respectfully, i am not aware of the legal technicalities of withdrawing that or submitting it on the record. i think it is a relevant document in trying to understand how news international was thinking at the time. >> we'll ask you the question -- >> so i would say no, but i can come back after taking counsel and seeing if it's a better idea to do it. >> i want to wind up given the time, but i've got a few more questions. as you've described it, and as collin miler described it to us, the e-mail investigation was carried out by the i.t.
department and it was overseen by the director of legal affairs, john chapman, and the human resources director, daniel cloak. is that your understanding? >> pardon me, what was the question? i don't understand. is it my understanding that -- >> the investigation itself. you have described it, collin miler described it to us. it was carried out by the i.t. department and overseen by the director of legal affairs, john chapman, and the human resources director, personnel director, daniel cloak. is that an accurate description? >> that is my understanding. >> can you tell us why john chapman has left the organization? >> john chapman and the organization decided it was in mutual interest to part ways. and i think one of the pieces here as well is for the company to move forward is for -- and i think this is important. many of the individuals, even if there is -- if there's no
evidence of wrongdoing or anything like that, and i think that -- and no evidence of impropriety, many individuals have chosen that it's time to part ways. i was not involved with the discussions with mr. chapman. >> so you have no evidence of any complicity to cover up the existence of the file? >> i do not have that. >> can you tell us the employment status of daniel cloak? >> mr. cloak left the company some time ago and i don't know his employment status. he's not in the business. he was the director of human resources for a number of years. not that many actually, i'm not sure. but left over a year ago, i think. but i can follow up with you the status. >> i'm just very quickly to the witnesses who came to us. again, in respect to the file that you've discovered this year, regarding les hinton, when did he first become aware of
this collection of e-mails and paper, as you call it, that clearly rendered the advice -- the evidence given to us misleading by him? when did he learn about it? >> i can't speak to mr. hinton's knowledge of that. are you referring to in 2011 or in 2007? >> this document that was left -- >> in 2007. i can't -- i can't speak to his knowledge, but i would -- i would -- i know that mr. hinton was aware of the work that had been carried out and i think he's testified to this committee to that effect. >> have you asked him whether -- mr. murdoch sr., have you asked les hinton whether he knew about this document? >> no. >> why not? >> about which? >> which document are you referring to? >> the document that you discovered in april, may in the offices of the law firm. >> i don't think it's -- i have
not asked him, but i also think that he -- you know, i think he's testified to this, that he as the chief executive of news international at the time would not have been expected necessarily to read x hundreds or thousands of e-mails there but would rely on the opinion of counsel about what they had done. >> was collin miler aware of this evidence lying with the firm? >> i cannot speak to other individuals' knowledge in the past. i simply don't -- >> did tom crohn. >> i simply can't speak for them. >> stewart cutner? >> the same goes, i simply can't speak for them. >> and rebekah brooks? >> i simply cannot speak for their knowledge. i know that mrs. brooks when she was chief executive of this was one of the people who brought it to my attention, as a new thing.
>> just to finish off this questioning, i'm just going to wrap up, but we're left now but you having looked into this affair and having cooperated with the police, cannot tell us who lodged the file with the law firm, who was aware of its contents and who, who, who kept you from being in full possession of the facts, evidence that is clearly now being submitted to the police, but clearly contradicts all the assurances that you were given not in one but in two select committee inquiries. that's frankly, i hope you'd agree, unsatisfactory. >> i can say that the company at the time engaged an outside law firm to review a number of these e-mails. they were provided to the law firm as i understand it. they were reviewed and an
opinion was issued to the company of a respected law firm and the opinion was clear. and the company rested on that. i cannot speak to individuals' knowledge at different times because i simply don't know. what i do know is that the company rested on that, rested on the fact that the police told us that there was new evidence, there was no reason for a new investigation, rested on the opinion of the pcc that there was no new information and no reason to carry it further. it wasn't until new evidence emerged from the civil trials, the civil lit dpaigations that going on, that the company immediaty went to the police, restarted this. those were -- and the company has done the right thing. >> this was evidence that was lying in your lawyers' possession all the time. it's not simply evidence that emerged through litigation. >> i'm sorry, may i?
>> yes. >> it was looked at in conjunction with the new and restarted criminal investigation. these are serious -- these are serious matters and we take them seriously. when it was looked at and it was deemed that these things would be of interest to the police, we immediately actually brought in additional counsel, lord mcdonald, who i believe you mentioned earlier, and to help advice the company on what the appropriate way forward in terms of full transparency and cooperation with police investigations were. and they are very serious matters and the company took them very seriously. >> mr. murdoch sr., just a few questions. >> very quickly. >> the situation that i've just painted where we're now here, not knowing who at news international, "news of the world" was complicit in keeping that file containing however many bits of paper, we're
nowhere near knowing who knew what and when about that file. evidence that clearly contradicts not only -- not only statements given to the select committee but evidence as it would appear that led your closest and trusted aide over many years, les henton, to give misleading evidence. do you find that a satisfactory state of affairs? >> no, i do not. >> and what do you think the company should do about it in a follow-up to this inquiry? >> well, mr. chapman, who was in charge of this, has left us. and he had that report for a number of years and it wasn't until mr. lewis looked at it carefully that we immediately said we need legal advice, see how we go to the police with this, how we should present it,
et cetera. >> my understanding is that the file was with the lawyers. it was with the law firm and there had been no reason to go and relook at it. the opinion was very clear based on the review that was done. and as soon as it was in the new -- in a new criminal investigation, it was deemed appropriate to look at i it was immediately done so. >> mr. murdoch, you haven't addressed the point or haven't read your own newspapers. my final question, mr. murdoch. given the picture that's been painted of individuals on a news desk acting as gate keepers for a private investigator, do you think it's possible at all that editors of your newspaper would not have known about these activities? do you think it's remotely possible? >> i can't say that because of the police inquiries and coming -- i presume coming
judicial proceedings. that's all i can tell you, except it was my understanding -- i better not say it. mr. miler, appointed there by mr. hinton to find out what the hell was going on and that he commission commissioned that inquiry. no, that is my understanding of it. i cannot swear to the accuracy of it. >> thank you. >> i am going to appeal for brevity because we've been going for two hours now. >> i'll be as brief as i can. to james murdoch, what we'd like to know is, i'm very familiar with the engineering industry.
could you try and paint a picture of a week's operation at "news of the world." what period were you closely involved controlling the "news of the world"? >> my involvement was overseeing the region of europe and asia, just to be clear, in 2008, starting in the middle of december of '07 i was chief executive for europe and asia, our european television business, our asian television as well as as well as our u.k. publishing business. one title of which is the "news of the world" so i can't say i was intimately involved with the workings of "news of the world." >> what results would come to you, presumably within the seven days after publication, presumably the sales, the advertising income and you'd judge the newspaper on the profitability week by week presumably. i know that rupert murdoch would --
>> i certainly get that all over the world. >> these are enterprises and sales and advertising figures and personnel numbers and all of those things are relevant. managers look at those. >> we understand from questions that have been answered already that when it comes to legal issues, the settlement of claims, that that's taken outside from the day-to-day management of the newspaper. that's right, isn't it? >> each group of companies or titles would have their own legal executives who will deal with things like libel and other things, will try to check something doesn't go into the paper that's going to be wrong. sometimes that's right, sometimes it's wrong. but each has its own legal resource and the managing editor's office is very involved in those things as well as the counsel's office in the newspapers. >> so the editor of "news of the
world" -- >> my son's typical week would well have been a day in munich or a day in skiatalia where he had a particularly difficult situation, a particularly tricky competitor, if i may say so, and he had a lot on his plate. >> i leave some of the mundane issues, then. it came clear from the first question to you, rupert murdoch, that you've been kept in the dark quite a bit on some of these issues. >> nobody kept me in the dark. i may have been lax in not asking more but it was such a tiny part of our business. >> i understand that. but obviously you come to this point and you wouldn't be here if it wasn't extremely serious. >> it's probable cause extremely
serious. >> is there no written rules that certain things have to be reported straight to the very top? it sounds as if there are no such rules. >> if it's seen as a crisis. i think if it's seen as a crisis, it comes to me. >> may i just -- may i? i think it's important to know that there's a difference between being kept in the dark and a company that's a large company, the management of which is delegated to managers of different companies within the group and so on and so forth. and i think to suggest that my father or myself were kept in the dark is a different thing from saying that actually the management and running of these businesses is often delegated either to the chief executive of a different company or an editor or managing editor or editorial floor and decision-making has to be there. there are thresholds of materiality, if you will, whereby things have to move
upstream, certain things have to be brought to the attention. from a financial threshold point of vooriew, i think we addresse that earlier with respect to the out of court settlement with mr. taylor. but also from the standpoint of things like alleged criminality, violations of our code of conduct, those are things that are the company's internal audit function as well as the audit committee as well as the senior executives of the committee are expected to be made aware of. as they were in the case of the criminal prosecutions in 2007. >> you know, whatever -- whatever efforts were made and whatever rules there were, you know, we've reached -- news international has reached a crisis point otherwise you wouldn't be here and "news of the world" wouldn't be closed. who really is spom? -- responsible?
who should have told you? >> it's a good question, but i think it's not to say -- i'm not saying somebody should have told me. to my knowledge certain things were not known. and when new information came to light with respect to my knowledge of these events and to the understanding that when new information came to light, the company acted on it. and the company acted on it in a right and proper way as best the company could. but it's difficult to say that the company should have been told something if it's not known that a thing was a known fact to be told. now, i've been asked today that, you know, about what other people knew when and i can only rest on what they have told me or what they have told you in previous hearings, and i know --
i understand completely your frustration about this. you can imagine my own frustration in 2010 when the civil litigation came to a point where these things were -- came out. and suddenly realized that actually the pushback or the denial of the veracity of allegations that have been made earlier, particularly in 2009, had been too strong. and that's a matter of real regret, because all the facts were not known when that was done. and that is a matter of deep regret. and it is why we're here today with you trying to be as transparent as we possibly can. >> i suppose this is really a rhetorical question because i'm sure your answer will be what i expect. but it's admirable the fact that you've had such long-term employees who have become very close friends over the years.
he explained that with his determination to look after rebekah brooks, so it's admirable. but there was a lot of criticism at the time but this isn't a criticism, james, of your ability but there was criticism that it was nepotism to appoint you. in retrospect, that's why i said it was a rhetorical question and i know what the answer is. but do you regret, do you regret, mr. rupert, that it has become really a family organizati organization? >> when the job became available, head of bskyb, several people applied, including my son. they passed through all sorts of not just board committees, but outside experts, et cetera, have
made the conclusion that he was the right person. the press all had a field day. when he left to go to -- i promoted him to take charge of much wider responsibilities, we had calls from many of the big shareholders saying it was a terrible thing to take him away because he had done such a great job. >> i said i wasn't disputing that, but the fact that you have been -- that you didn't know about so many of these criminal activities that went on, do you not think that was made more likely because of the sort of family history? i don't just mean james, i'm talking about people who weren't direct members of your family but became friends. >> no. >> you don't think that --
>> i don't think -- >> why it has been mismanaged. >> i don't think mr. hinton misled me for a minute but you must make your own conclusion. other people who gave the same evidence may well have been misleading, but he certainly did not know of anything. >> thank you very much. >> i've got two more members. >> before i address my questions to the hearing, i'd like to make a short declaration of my own which is something i previously declared to the committee which is to say my wife is an employee of a company that has been engaged by news corporation. i just want to share that with you before asking any questions. mr. rupert murdoch, you said earlier on that we live in a transparent society. do you think it's right that people in public life can expect total privacy in a society like that? >> no. >> where do you think the limits of that lie? i notice in the watergate investigation, for example, personal panickibanking and pho
records were used that belonged to one of the witnesses were used relevant to that investigation. to what extent do you think the use of confidential, private information, even phone records or phone hacking is permissible in pursuit of a news story? >> i think phone hacking is something quite different. but i do believe that investigative journalism does lead to a more transparent and open society. inconvenient as that may be to many people. and i think we are a better society because of it. and i think we are probably a more transparent society than even the united states. >> where do you draw the line with that, if i may ask? where are the boundaries of a legitimate investigation? what's out of bounds? >> well, there was a great -- well, it would have been a terrible outcry, i'm sorry to say this and i don't know your
circumstances or anyone else around here, but when the "daily telegraph" bought a series of stolen documents of all the expenses of mps, it caused a huge outcry. one of which i feel has thought been properly addressed. i think there is an answer to it. and we ought to look at them as open and clear society in the world, which is singapore, where every person that gets a million dollars a year and the prime minister a lot more and there is no temptation and it's the cleanest society you'd find anywhere. >> good luck in selling that. >> may i help, mr. collins. >> seriously, it is ridiculous. people were reduced to doing what i did. >> may i help, mr. collins, which is -- because i think it's
a very good question and a really important question and i understand it's going to be one of the subjects of the judicial inquiry, which the prime minister announced last week, which as a company we immediately welcomed and we look forward to. the question of public interest, the question of what's acceptable and what isn't in terms of investigative techniques is an important one. but let me be very clear. the codes of conduct of news corporation for our employees, journalists or otherwise are very clear that breaking the law is a very, very serious matter. people should be held to account. and in the matter of phone hacking or payments to police or things like that, we just don't think they should have any place in our business. >> so james mar dourdoch, you w be very clear and people should have been very aware that phone hacking was not only illegal but totally unacceptable? >> well, i think after the -- particularly in light of the
successful prosecutions and convictions of the individuals involved in 2007, you know, it could not be taken more seriously. and if new evidence emerges, as it has in cases, you know, the company acts on it very, very quickly. >> to what extent do you think you have a cultural problem? rupert murdoch, do you think you have a cultural problem in your organization, that people only tell you things that you would want to hear. and even people that are your trusted advisers may withhold information because they want to curry favor? >> no, not my trusted advisers certainly. you should hear the conversations in my office, they're coming in all the time. >> forgive me, my -- >> some people say i have crazy ideas. >> sir, a lot of your trusted advisers of left your company, though. >> we're a very big company. i'm sure there may be people that try to please me.
that could be him in nature and it's up to me to see through that. >> to what extent do you think there is pressure on editors and senior managers to get scoops, to outdo each other, to win favor within the organization that leads them to take risks and, clearly, in the case of "news of the world" push boundaries that broke the law? >> would you ask that again, i'm sorry. >> do you think there is pressure on editors of your newspapers which leads them to take risks and break boundaries where "news of the world" there was illegal action and wrongdoing, people broke the law in order to get scoops? >> no, i think it's terribly wrong. there is no excuse for breaking the law at any time. i think rightful for newspapers, all newspapers when they wish to to campaign for a change in the law. but never to break it.
>> just two further questions, if i may. >> i just say i perhaps am addressing -- i just wanted to say that i was brought up by a father who was not rich, but was a great journalist. and he just before he died bought a little small paper specifically in his will saying he was giving me the chance to do good. and i remember what he did and what he was most proud of and for which he was hated in this country by many people for many, many years, what was expose the scandal of calipoli which i remain very, very proud of. and i would love to see my sons and daughters follow that, if they're interested. >> if i may, rupert murdoch, you
said earlier on that you have had frequent meetings with prime ministers during your career. in the period after the arrest -- >> i wish they'd leave me alone. >> of clive goodman, in which you said you were aware -- you said earlier on that you were aware of the situation when clive goodman was sent to the situation and you were aware of the case at that stage. in the years after that where there were numerous reports, investigations, hearings of this committee, we've heard a lot about them today, did any senior politicians that you were in contact with during that period of time raise this as an issue with you. raise concerns about phone hacking? >> absolutely never. the person i met most in those days was mr. brown, his wife and my wife struck up quite a friendship. and our children played together on many occasions. and i'm very sorry that i'm no longer -- i felt he had great values, which i shared with him,
and i'm sorry that we've become apart and i hope one day we'll be able to put it together again. >> one final question to rupert murdoch, you said in your interview you gave to the "wall street journal" you felt that your executives had handled this crisis very well with just a few minor mistakes. do you stand by that statement or do you believe the level of mistakes was far greater than that? >> well, they seem very big now. what we did was terrible, but you're talking about handling the crisis. i'm sorry -- i don't believe that either he nor mr. hinton made any great mistakes. or any -- but were mistakes made within the organization?
absolutely. were people i trusted or that they trusted betrayed? yes. >> this is to james murdoch. it was reported that when rebekah brooks spoke to staff when the news of the world announcement was made, the closement that she said in a year's time they might understand why the paper would have to close. do you think what's that significance of a period of time in a year? reexpecting more revelations to come out that made the closure inevitable? >> i can't speak to what she was specifically referring to. she made those comments herself and you know, as a -- when she was saying good-bye sadly to the staff. but i can say that what happened at the news of the world in the events leading up to the 2007
affairs and prosecutions and what we know about those things now were bad. and there were things that should not have any place in our organization. they're things that we unreservedly and really sin seriously am sorry for. we haven't seen the end of this in terms of the ongoing police investigations that are there. as you know mr. collins there are a number of people who have been arrested. we don't know what's going to happen in the future around those things. but given the breach of trust. given the allegations that were emerging, that are rapid pace, you know, it was clear to me anyway, and i think that the future will bear this out without any specific knowledge of the future obviously that, you know, it was the right thing for the paper to cease publication. >> your father said in his "the wall street journal" interview that you mr. james murdoch had
acted as fast as he could the moment he could. does thatuggest that you were held back at any point in the last few weeks? >> as i said to the committee earlier, i can't remember which member, my apologies, mr. collins, you know, this has been a frustrating process. my frustration i think or my real anger to learn that there was new evidence emerging as late as it be end of 2010 was real and is real. what i've done and what the company has tried to do is take new information, adjust our course, behave with propriety, behave quickly. behave in a humble way with respect to what's happened and with respect to trying to really put it right. that's what we're trying to do. it was enormously frustrating that does not mean that i have
any knowledge of anyone intentionally misleading me many the company, i don't. which makes it doubly frustrating. we are where we are. new information emerged through the legit in the due process of a civil trial. the company acted op it as fast as could possibly be expected. city new information or new allegations are emerging that, you know, the company is in we are trying to deal with as right away as we can and the best way possible. >> thank you. >> and finally, sorry to keep -- >> the good news is that i am the last questioner and i will try to have a few very specific questions that i'd like to ask you. starting with you mr. james murdoch, i know we've been over at length the differences in the size of the settlements paid, the taylor settlements and the other settlements were far much less. can you tell me if the taylor settlement included a confidentiality clause and maybe the other settlement did not?
>> oh! >> oh! >> outrageous. >> the sitting is suspended for ten minutes. >> good morning, everyone we've been watching the live coverage msnbc's live coverage of the testimony that's taking place in front of parliament right now where james and rue merit murdoch have been testifying right now all morning long since about 9:30. what we just watched there was someone that came up as james was speaking and addressing the last member of parliament to have any questions where someone jumped over trying to get i believe to rupert murdoch. the shot was shaky. then we saw rupert murdoch's wife dressed in pink jump up almost in a blatant defense of her husband. it's still unclear of what happened inside that testimony room. we're going to reshow the video right here, again, we're trying to get it back loaded up.
again, the last member of parliament was addressing james asking specifically about a payout that was given to gordon taylor. he the is chief executive of the professional futbolers association whose phone was hacked by the news of the world. by the staffers. apparently he received roughly a $1.6 million settlement. during that answer that's when someone jumped from behind reaching toward rupert murdoch, i believe. again, i had my head down i was reading about what gordon taylor was. michael isikoff is with us. michael, as we've been watching so far, things have been going along really well. this has been a very transparent and not a very raucous type of testimony that's going on until this moment that we just saw. and still it's unclear as we see the video playing back exactly what happened inside that parliament room. >> right. it's been an extraordinary hearing. i mean, you know, rupert murdoch is this almost wizard of oz like
figure somebody you hear a lot about, clearly very powerful, but very rarely seen in a setting such as this one where he has to answer questions in public. it was -- it was a really interesting performance. right in the beginning he interrupted his son, james, very smooth, very suave, harvard educated to say that this was the most humble day of his life. but then as the questioning progressed, you saw a defiant murdoch at times asked at one point if he felt he was responsible for anything that went on, he answered bluntly, no. it was others who were responsible. he said he didn't know about some of the most important developments including the fact that his son james had approved these out of court settlements to settle legal claims against
the company particularly the futboler who got the big settlement of over a half a million pounds. and was very as i said defiant at times. not giving much ground while wanting to make -- give the appearance that the company is setting things straight. that it realized mistakes were made. very difficult listening to both rupert murdoch's testimony and that of his son james who exactly was responsible for the phone hablging. one more point i want to make, there was some -- contradictions between what he said today and what he said previously. he said today that he was appalled and shocked to learn just recently about the payments about the phone hacking of that 13-year-old murdered teenage girl. yet only a few days ago he had called "the wall street journal" and seemed to dismiss almost everything that was going on
saying there had been only minor mistakes. it's very hard to square minor mistakes last week with appalled and shocked today. >> michael isikoff stand by for me. we want to go ahead and play the sound from inside parliament house where the questions were taking place. again, the last member of parliament -- >> oh! >> there we have it. you see this guy coming up from the left-hand side of rupert murdoch. the final member of parliament was asking murdoch about the pay yacht to gordon taylor. you can see rupert's wife. she's 42 years old. the mother of his two youngest children grace and kiloey jump up and attack the man in the face. he's been taken away in handcuffs. but again, you can see how close he gets in proximity to rupert murdoch and the rest of murdoch family. james answering the questions there, obviously startled and taken off guard. but rupert murdoch's wife
jumping up in defense of him very quickly striking the man. there we have a picture of the guy that attacked the murdochs. it looks as if these got something all over his face. i'm not sure if he was trying to do something -- there's something in britain where i think people throw pies in other people's faces. maybe that's what he was attempting to do inside. it looks like he's got something in his face. again, police were quick to cross the room. the bobbies that you see there came in to ecourt the man out in handcuffs as we understand it. again, you can see rupert murdoch's wife jumping up. rupert murdoch was sitting there listening to his son who was giving testimony again to the last question that was just started to be asked by the parliament member that you see standing up on the left-hand side, the female asking about the pay crowd to gordon taylor. gordon taylor was the chief executive of the professional futboler's association whose phone was hacked by news of the